tv Early Start CNN December 11, 2012 2:00am-4:00am PST
that's it for us. that's it for us. thanks for watching. "early start" begins now. without warning, a surprise tornado strikes in the middle of a series of severe storms throughout the southeast. plus, secret sabotage. police want to know who's behind the pipe bombs found attached to the gas tank of a large truck.
mum's the word on the air force's secret space plan set to blast off today. secret but we have some details. >> we know all about it. >> good that's right. good morning and welcome to "early start," everyone, i'm john berman. >> and i'm zoraida sambolin. tuesday, december 11th, 5:00 a.m. in the east. we begin this morning in the south where more storms are expected today. this after residents are left cleaning up from the aftermath of yesterday's storms. the rain was so intense. take a look at what happened to the home of one man, this is birmingham, alabama as he was being interviewed by a local tv reporter. >> we had dogs. he was in the cage. oh, my god. oh, my god. oh, my god. you all okay? you all okay? you all all right? >> look at that, the roof of clint thornton's home collapsing due to the soaking rain.
he believes a tornado touched down in his neighborhood. let's check in with alexand exe ste steele. >> there were 12 reported tornadoes yesterday, 2 have been con dining roomed by the survey teams. more survey teams will go out today and deem it be a tornado or not. this is what we saw yesterday. we have a cool weather season for tornadoes and it's in what we call dixie alley. louisiana, mississippi, alabama, that's where we saw them. even into florida yesterday afternoon. that's where the reports of the tornadoes were. the only thing today in florida, we're watching this cold front just set up there and that is where we could see a severe weather threat. but you know, december tornadoes as i said are not that uncommon. birmingham, an ef-1 was confirmed yesterday. they actually averaged two tornadoes for the month of
december. new orleans, averages four and jackson, mississippi averages seven tornadoes. but thus far this winter or this fall from november to today, we've had very few severe weather reports or confirmed tornadoes. it has been a quiet season. this is looking right now where the cold front is. it is still draped right here over south and central florida. that's where, if any, action will occur today. isolated tornado but damaging winds not out of the question. you can see a slow go in south florida, flights out of there are driving today. damaging winds or hail, that's the picture. we'll talk more about the big picture weatherwise and also about the tornadoes and how rare they are or not, coming up. >> all right, alexandria, thank you. and coming up, the photographer that shot this video when the house collapsed along with the reporter covering the story. that is clint thornton's home that is collapsing behind him. he's yelling out.
everybody is okay. nobody was injured there. we'll have that interview for you. >> can you imagine the cameras are rolling and you capture this craziness. >> amazing picture. my goodness. oklahoma city police are looking for whoever put two pipe bombs on a truck. the driver found them attached to his fuel tank after he got back from a 400-mile trip. the truck reportedly was hauling rock. you can imagine what happened if this thing blew up. a bomb squad destroyed the explosives. also new this morning, a medical chopper goes down in north central illinois, it was on its way to a hospital. three people on board all crew members, were killed. rockford memorial hospital told the chicago tribune that two nurses were on the chopper as well. no patients were on the chopper. just 21 days until the tax hikes and spending cuts kick in.
remember, congress is supposed to break for the holidays at the end of this week. here's the latest. house speaker john boehner and his aides were quietly conducting behind the scenes fiscal cliff talks with the white house. on capitol hill for one day at least, all was pretty quiet. posturing and finger pointing kind of stopped. cnn political reporter shannon travis joins us now live from washington. what's the the latest on the talks or the silence? >> the silence seems to be golden, john. remember last week when all the players involved seem to be posturing and positioning and talking about negotiations? not so much, at least in the past few days. we know president obama and house speaker john boehner had a one-on-one meeting, right, on sunday, their first since mid-november. what were the details from that meeting and from the ongoing discussions? they're not really -- both sides are not really being forthcoming
with what the substance of those conversations, both sides yesterday, the white house and the republican leadership put out statements. they're essentially the same. i'll read just one from boehner's press secretary. discussions with the white house are taking place but we have no detail to share about the substance of those conversations. the republican offer made last week remains the republican offer and we continue to wait for the president to identify the spending cuts he's willing to make as part of the balanced approach he promised the american people. so, of course, that coming from the republican side, the president obviously saying he's waiting for something, too, john. he's waiting for the republicans to identify the specific details of that $800 billion of revenue they're willing to offer. what are the specifics the president is saying? take a listen at something the president said yesterday at that event that you mentioned. >> when you put it all together, you need a package that keeps taxes where they are for middle
class families, make tough spending cuts on things we don't need and ask the wealthiest americans to pay a slightly higher tax rate. >> john, this is essentially the impasse that one side is saying -- the republicans are saying we need deep savings in entitlement spending and president obama saying he won't compromise on raising the tax rates for the wealthiest americans. >> shannon, you said the republicans are waiting for the president, the president is waiting for the republicans. we're all waiting for everyone here. what kind of deadlines are we talking about? >> we could be looking at a potentially serious deadline for friday, a de facto deadline of sorts with be john. once they reach a deal, the legislative process could actually take two weeks to put into effect. so we're bumping up right against friday that they would potentially need to have a deal in place so that we wouldn't actually go over the clip. it's been serious business but this week could be even more serious, john. >> friday seems pretty quick. we'll see. shannon travis, thanks very
much. >> seven minutes past the hour. we're learning more about petty officer first class nicolasd. checque. he's described as hard-working and enthusiastic. he joined the navy in 2002 after graduating from high school and entered the s.e.a.l.s program the very next year. he received the bronze star and other awards during his ten-year career. >> a hero. >> yes, he indeed. british banking giant hsbc agreed to pay $1.92 billion to settle a money laundering investigation here in the u.s. hsbc is accused of transferring billions of dollars for nations like iran doing business with firms linked to terrorism and enabling mexican drug cartels to move money illegally through u.s. subsidiaries. the settlement represents the largest pen the ever paid by a bank. now pot is officially legal in colorado.
people 21 and older may have up to 1 ounce of weed, smoke it, not in public and grow a small amount at home as well. the governor has created a task force to help implement the law. here's the problem. it's complicated. the federal government still says marijuana is illegal. >> rocky mountain high. i'll be the billionth person to say that. countdown to double secret lift jop. the space plane is cleared to lift off at 1:05 p.m. eastern time from cape canaveral. this is an unmanned reusable mini verlgs of the space shuttle. it lifts off vertically and lands on auto pilot on a runway. no one knows what it's carrying. the cost to develop it, that is also classified. >> we're calling it a spooky space launch. >> it's about a forth of the size of the space shuttle. you know, no designs to have any humans on board. it's designed to stay in space for like 270 days which is way
longer than the space shuttle was. >> let's hope it all worked. >> it's the third tile. it's worked before. oming up, unions rally against a proposal they say will hurt workers. also ahead, real story of the hero secret agent portrayed in the osama bin laden movie "zero dark 30." as i said, real story, ahead. is simply revolutionary. oral-b power brushes oscillate, rotate and even pulsate to gently loosen and break up that sticky plaque with more brush movements than manual brushes and even up to 50% more than leading sonic technology brushes for a superior clean. oral-b power brushes. go to oralb.com for the latest offers.
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it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase. welcome back. michigan is poised to become the most unionized right to work state. workers are expected to voice their disapproval today at the state capital. even president obama stepping into the fray during a visit yesterday to a daimler truck factory in redford, michigan. >> these so-called right to work laws, they don't have to do with economics. they have everything to do with politics.
what they're really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money. >> alison kosik is in lancing with the latest for us. if we could take this to the 101 level here. explain right to work. >> it essentially means if this law passes, the right to work law, even it passes here in michigan, it means if you are looking for work in michigan you wouldn't be forced to pay union dues 0 are join a union as a condition to get a job or keep a job. for a state like michigan which was built on unions, it really is a huge sea of change here. and it comes with an element of symbolism as well. especially since unions are so engrained in this state. not only sort of undermine the power of unions in michigan, it could undercut the power and influence of unions even across the country, zoraida. >> how likely is to happen?
i know i've been reading that the governor supports it. >> yes. i mean, we're hearing it is likely. first all, what's happening here today at the statehouse in michigan is around 10:00 a.m. the senate and house which have already passed measures last week, they just need to pass each other's measure. so that's all going to begin at 10:00 a.m., final approval expected to happen today. once that happens, it's expected to go to governor rick snyder's desk. he is expected to sign it, despite the fact that he did have an hour of intense meetings with democratic congressional delegation from here yesterday where they were asking him to veto this decision or at least delay the decision. he said he would consider their concerns but the likelihood is, if that bill reaches his desk, he will put his signature on it, zoraida. >> we're looking at video right now. we see a little bit of police presence there. they're expecting 10,000
unionized workers to show up today. do they have some security measures in place? >> oh, yeah, they definitely do. you're seeing road closures around the capital. there are parking restrictions in place. you know, if last week is any indication when thousands of people descended on the capital, today aets expected to be even more intense because we're getting closer and closer to that final approval, yes. we've seen even yesterday when i was out here, police were getting ready for what the onslaught of demonstrators are to bring. lots of barricades, lots of police presence. the demonstrations expected to begin in a few hours, zoraida. >> alison kosik, live in michigan for us. thanks very much. a couple of schools are closing down because the teachers are saying they're going to the rally. >> this is going to be a big deal over the next 24 hours. >> yes, it is. we are going strong here. christine romans here with the top stories. residents in parts of the south cleaning up from severe
weather. more storms may smack the area today. soaking rains, heavy wons blanketed the region from louisiana to florida. there are reports that tornadoes touched down in some areas in alabama, tree limbs fell to the ground and some trees were simply uprooted by those strong wons. former imf boss dominique strauss-kahn has settled a civil suit filed by a new york city hotel maid accuwho accused him various items. criminal charges against him were dropped. the state of hawaii is no longer 50th in voter turnout. it's tied for 49th with west virginia. this time around, they've got company at the bottom. both west virginia and hawaii tenned out 44.2% of its voters in 2012. the duke of cambridge
decided to cancel a scheduled appearance at a military event to be with his pregnant wife. katherine has been battling acute morning sickness. they are supposeded to attend the royal premiere of "the hobbit" tomorrow but the daily mail says katherine may not be well enough to go. >> if he skips the hobbit for her, that is true love. i'll be impressed. >> thank you. 17 minutes past the hour. time for early reads, local news making national headlines. we're starting with the charlotte news and observer in north carolina where a federal judge ruled the state cannot issue choose life license plates without offering ones with different view points. he called it viewpoint discrimination and violation of the first amendment. pro-choice advocates and the aclu praised that decision but the ruling suggests, they say, they will have to offer a kill the sea turtles plate to counter
the save the turtles plate. this is a movie about the decade-long hunt for osama bin laden "zero dark 30." this year of the cia agent a little more complicated than the hollywood spy version portrayal. the post says she was actually passed over for a poe motion shortly after the mission that killed bin laden. also it says she took heat for ties to filmmakers and there was jealousy over her fame and that led to internal friction within the agency. the post says after being given a prestigious award for her work this agent sent an e-mail to dozens of others saying they didn't deserve to share in the accolades. >> not good. >> not getting along very well inside the cia, apparently. >> in the a smart move either. for an expanded look at all of our top stories, head to cnn.com/earlystart. also follow us on twitter and on facebook. just search for early start cnn. >> it's made of steel but it's
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>> we are celebrating. >> u.s. stock futures are up. everyone is watching washington for any news from these private fiscal cliff talks. and brace yourselves, the federal reserve begins its two-day meetings on interest rates today. >> christine romans is here talking about the fascinating report of what the world will look like in 2030. every four years this report is put together, the global trends report. this is to give to incoming administration to show them what the world will look like, what intelligence agencies think the world will look like. it's fascinating. it shows china on the rise, the west in decline and china overtaking the united states in size of economy by the year 2030. here are the key findings of the new intel report. it's interesting reading. a majority of the world's population by 2030 will be out of poverty for the first time in world history. there will be wars over food and water and natural resores. populations will continue to rise and there will be recurring global economic crises but when
you think about this, you think about how far we're going here. you've got asia, china in particular will be dominant. it will be stronger than its been anytime since middleages. there will be no more pax americana as its known. china will be a big driver and india will be growing like china is today. they talk about how the world is changing. it's like no other time since the french revolution. remember in the late 18th century, the industrial revolution, except it's happening more quickly. it's taking a tenth of the time for china and asia to rise quickly. let me read to you something from the report, in the tectonic shift, asia will have surpassed north maeshg and europe combined in terms of global power, based upon gdp, population size, military spending and technological spending.
china alone will probably have the largest economy, surpassing that of the united states a few years before 2030. people because of technology, people really have more power than they've ever had before, individuals have more power an that can also cause problems with, you know, people using technology for ill means. >> is this the whole report? >> the 140-page rundown. i'm sure the president gets a bigger one. >> this is an intelligence report. >> yes. >> why on earth would anyone buy a jillion dollar card for starbucks. >> this is the question of the surgery. they had a $450 stainless steel elite card. now they're on ebay getting them for maybe $1,000. some is of the bids are up to $1,000. it's collectors item for the to be 1%. these starbucks limited edition gift cards have sparked a frenzy on ebay of people who want to
hold on to this. >> it's the perfect gift for people who like to buy overpriced coffee already. >> you get perks, like little free things every now and then. parentally people are doing it or they've sold enough of these things, they only offered 5,000 of them. they're cpaccing a frenzy on ebay, maybe it's free advertising. >> there you have it. >> i'm going to kill a tree and give each of you a copy of this report. >> thank you. he is always outspoken on sports. bob costas touched a nerve within he spoke out on gun control earlier this month. find out what he's saying about that now, coming up. hing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage.
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storms tear through the south. people from louisiana to florida, cleaning up after several reported twisters tear through. and another round of storms unfortunately expected today. >> give me shelter. a report says google managed to hide big money from uncle sam overseas but they did it without breaking any laws. tom on top. do you know what i'm talking about? days after welcoming a new baby daughter tom brady takes charge in a big "monday night football" rout. >> he's so dreamy. >> you heard it here. >> tom brady is the definition of dreamy. i'm happy to say it. >> what about his wife. >> she's dreamy, too. there's a lot of dreamy going on in that family. >> welcome back to "early start." i'm zoraida sambolin. >> i stayed up way too late watching that game last night. >> apparently. our top story this hour is
the weather. more storms expected to smack into the south. yesterday, a large swath of that region from louisiana to florida was hit with severe weather. there were reports that tornadoes did touch down and take a look at this video. a man in birmingham, alabama was talking to a reporter about how bad the weather was when this happened. >> we had dogs, he was in the cage -- oh, my god. oh, my god. oh, my god. oh, my god. you all okay? you all okay? you all all right? >> the roof of clint thornton's home collapsing as he's talking. i should tell you, everyone inside was okay. but a lost weather going on. as i said, let's check in with alexandria steele. good morning. >> good morning, john. birmingham did see a tornado. national weather service confirm an ef-1 tornado moving through at about 5:00 in the morning.
this was the line of storms that moved through, at least a dozen reports of tornadoes. this is birmingham, though. an ef-1 around 5:00, 90 mile per hour winds reported with this. roofs off homes like we saw at clint's home. also commercial buildings even had roofs torn off as well. and also 7:00 in the morning, baker, louisiana, let's take you to baker and show you the damage, the destruction there. trees, power lines down as well. even a car wash destroyed. that's baker, an ef-1, winds there, 105 miles an hour. there was the path. the only threat today is in florida, the tail end of that front may be firing off an isolated tornado. so there we are so far thus far two confirmed, potentially more, national weather service heading out to survey the damage. the birmingham one, mile-wide long path, 250 yards wide, four-mile long path in baker, louisiana. let's talk about how quiet the
season has been thus far. seven tornadoes have touched down between november and december 8th. the ten-year average is 70. so it has been incredibly quiet. we do have a severe weather season in this cool season and it happens in dixie alley where we saw it. as john was mentioning the threat today, only in south and central florida. the storms move through with that cold front. again, some strong winds possibly an isolated tornado and damaging hail. that will move east and we all clear up and cool down. john? >> all right, alexandria, thank you very much. 33 minutes past the hour. powerful world leaders are no match for a stomach bug. hillary clinton has a bad one and she is having to bail out of friends of syria, a meeting tomorrow in morocco. william burns will go in her place. one topic they're expected to discuss is how to deal with radical islamists among syria's rebels. >> hope the secretary is feeling better.
the foreign relations committee overseas the state department, that, of course, means susan rice is nominated to be secretary of state. the arizona senator would be in a position to grill her during her nomination hearing. mccain has been one of the biggest critics of susan rice suggesting she misled the nation about the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. accused new york subway pusher, davis, is expected back in court today. he told "the new york post" he was high on pot and heard voices before allegely pushing 58-year-old on to the tracks. naeem davis is charged with second degree murder. he also wants to lose the gps device and be allowed to
travel outside seminole county, florida. he's expected to argue eight motions in all. bob costas is not backing down from his controversial on-air comments about gun control. he admits his remarks may have been imperfect in the aftermath of a murder/suicide involving kansas city chiefs player jevon belcher. >> if this has sparked a conversation and in some small way influenced people's behavior, so much the better. front page of the paper and not the sports section, front page of the weekend edition of the "usa today" is about guns in the national football league. there is a gun culture in the national football league. >> according to a report on nbc's football night in america show, seven nfl players have turned in their guns to team security officials since the belcher murder/suicide. on "monday night football" it was pure beauty. the best team in the afc at
least by record. he goes into tom brady's house and gets steam rolled. that's a touchdown pass to stallworth right there. a beauty. a 42-14 rout of the houston texans. the texans are the best team -- have the best record in the league. that's danny woodhead right now. he's going to cough it up. brandon lloyd recovers it in the end zone for a touchdown. everything's going the patriots way. what a dreamy night. the patriots won 20 straight home games in the month of december. this was tom brady's first game since he and his wife gisele welcomed their child together, v vivian lake. >> did you watch this game? >> yes. i can not. it's way too exciting. >> three weeks to go until the fiscal cliff and all the talk in washington is about what's not happening. we'll explain, coming up. this family used capital one venture miles
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welcome back. news this morning that google dodged $2 billion in global income taxes last year by using a shell company in bermuda as a tax shelter. according to bloomberg, they did it by shifting $9.8 billion of revenue into this tax haven. it's all perfectly legal with the company enjoying a 3.2% tax rate on the profit it earned overseas. we reached out to google for comment. we haven't heard back from them just yet. >> 40 minutes past the hour. it's all quiet on capitol hill. when it comes to the looming fiscal cliff crisis that could be a good thing. in 21 days we go over that cliff and four days to get a deal done before they head to christmas break. drastic tax hikes and spending cuts loom.
cnn political reporter shannon travis jones us live from washington. what are you hearing? >> well, we're hearing that the negotiations are continuing, zoraida. exactly what those negotiations contain, what's actually happening in them, we're unclear of. so we know that president obama and house speaker john boehner had that one-on-one meeting on sunday, it was their first since mid-november. discussions have continued but, again, very light on details. both sides yesterday put out statements from a public and then from the white house. very light on details. i'll read just one of them for you. quote, discussions with the white house are taking place but we have no detail to share about the substance of those conversations. the republican offer made last week remains the republican offer and we continue to wait for the president to identify the spending cuts he's willing to make as part of the balanced approach he promised the american people. that's from brendan buck, a press secretary for john boehner.
meanwhile, president obama is standing firm on his commitment to sign no deal that doesn't include tax rates for the wealthiest americans. he mentioned some of that yesterday in a campaigning event in michigan, zoraida. >> his spokesperson said they're not going to negotiate through the media. a lot of people are thinking that is actually a good thing. >> correct. >> we have an urgent situation in washington right now. tell us about the deadlines. we know that everybody's leaving for the christmas break and the president had said that he wanted a deal done before then. >> that's absolutely correct. and we also have a de facto deadline that we're pushing up against in terms of on friday. if there is a deal, they will potentially need to reach it by friday. the legislative process takes time to cook, if you will, about two weeks potentially. they would potentially need to have a deal done by friday so that we don't actually go over the cliff. >> good luck with that. shannon travis, live in washington. thank you. >> it is 43 minutes after the hour right now.
coming up on this big, big show, there's concern about the assad regime using chemical weapons in syria. also concerned, what happens if the rebels find those weapons first? we'll have a look at that serious issue ahead. does the new movie "zero dark 30" cross the line when it comes to waterboarding? we'll hear from the filmmaker. plenty of gain, without all that pain... with olay. i tell them dentures are very different to real teeth. they're about 10 times softer and may have surface pores where bacteria can grow and multiply. polident is specifically designed to clean dentures daily. its unique micro-clean formula kills 99.9% of odor causing bacteria and helps dissolve stains, cleaning in a better way than brushing with toothpaste. that's why i recommend using polident. [ male announcer ] polident. cleaner, fresher, brighter every day.
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christine romans from her demographic reports to bring us the top stories this morning. >> i'll bring that to you at 6:20. more storms expected in the south. amazing weather there. people cleaning up from a beating they took yesterday, soaking rains and heavy winds. order of the day from louisiana to florida, reports that tornadoes touched down in some areas. in alabama, tree limbs fell to the ground. some trees uprooted by strong wons. the right to work battle in michigan is forcing at least two detroit area school districts to close for the day. tailor school district and warren consolidated school district. a teacher's union rep in one district says 250 teachers plan to take personal leave days to protest. new york police are looking for a man who mugged an 85-year-old woman in the elevator of her building. thankfully they have security video to help out. the woman wasn't hurt but she says the man even took her wedding ring and refused to give it back when she ask.
her husband recently had a massive stroke and is in the hospital. take a good look at that picture, folks. nelson mandela is being treated for a lung infection. doctors disclosing why he's being treated. the former south african president is said to be responding to treatments. no word when the 94-year-old mandela may be released. we wish him luck. one rebel group trying to overthrow the assad regime in syria has been declared a terrorist organization by the obama administration. it's a fierce group of fighters waging a deadly battle against bashar al assad. cnn's arwa damon who has spent time in syria reports that other rebels don't agree with al nusra's politics but admire the group's determination to get rid of the assad regime. >> potential threat of a chemical weapons attack by the syrian regime forces nato to
rely on rebels who may or may not be trustworthy to secure these stockpiles. brian todd looks into this part of the story. >> reporter: there's enough chaos afoot to alarm western officials about what may happen to the munitions. a senior u.s. official and top diplomat tell cnn, the u.s. and its allies are using defense contractors to train syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles. our sources say the training is taking place in jordan and it,ky. they tell us the syrian rebels are being trained on how to monitor and secure stockpiles but also on handling the weapons sites and weapons materials. >> how dicy is it to train syrian rebels on actually handling the materials? >> on the one hand, these may be individuals who are going to be the first ones into some of these sites. they have to know what safety precautions to take, otherwise they're not going to want to go
in and they have to know what to look for. >> reporter: leonard specter is a chemical weapons expert. he says they are confident the syrians have cerron and mustard gas, a blistering agent. they may also have cyanide and vx. if these materials are mishandled -- >> probably what would happen is that individuals nearby would be terribly affected. perhaps killed or certainly injured in some serious fashion. but there might not be too much by way of more distant consequences because these would not have exploded, perhaps. >> reporter: our sources say one objective of training the rebels is to try to get realtime surveillance of syria's chemical weapons sites because the international commune would not have time to prevent the use of the weapons otherwise. but there are serious concerns about the reliability of the rebels. syrian rebel forces are a confusing mix. moderate freedom fighters battling alongside hardened
jihadists, some of whom are expected of terrorist ties phillip mudd says there's a huge concern over who to trust with chemical weapons. >> when you have roughly 10% of the opposition in groups that the u.s. government is declaring as terrorist groups you'll be concerned that they've infiltrated the groups you're trying to train. there are ways around that but there's a lot of risk. >> reporter: mudd says it's still better to train the rebe s s on how to handle these items. 52 minutes past the hour. the movie "zero dark thirty" had its premiere last night in hollywood. this is a movie about the hundred, capture and death of osama bin laden. it's already getting oscar buzz. but critics say the movie supports waterboarding prisoners. screenwriter mark boal disagrees.
>> it's a movie. it's a controversial subject. i understand that. it's been controversial before the movie came out. it will continue to be controversial, probably. people will bring to the film what they want in terms of their political points of view. it's obviously not -- we don't advocate torture. that would be a pretty gross mischaracterization of the film. >>s there a lot of controversy surrounding this film. last year republican congressman peter king claimed they got classified documents from the obama administration to make this movie. the white house denied it. "zero dark thirty" opens nationwide on january 11th. >> we have a jam packed hour straight ahead on "early start," including roof comes down after a near monsoon. it happened on live tv. >> look at that guy's face and listen to him. >> you all okay? >> crazy, this as severe storms whipped across the south. we are going to talk to the crew who witnessed this whole thing. that's coming up. plus, have you seen this woman? the search for the real mona lisa.
did a real life indiana jones find her tomb? and is she still smirking? ben wedeman takes us there. but first, wait for this. a monkey in a coat. where was this cute primate spotted and where on earth did he get that jacket? the answer to this in all the morning's crucial questions coming up next. >> that is so cute. ok this isn't my first christmas. these deals all seem great at the time... but later... [ shirt ] merry christmas, everybody! not so much. ho ho ho! this isn't that kind of deal. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. save on ground shipping at fedex office. how they'll live tomorrow. for more than 116 years, ameriprise financial has worked for their clients' futures. helping millions of americans retire on their terms. when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one.
>> imagine a show about nothing in a time where people continuously share details about nothing. yes, someone launched a new twitter feed called modern seinfeld. a lot of my friends were raving about this yesterday. this imagines the show in the age of twitter and social media and hipsters and everything else. in one episode elaine pretends to live in brooklyn, date a cute, younger guy. cramer becomes addicted to 5-hour energy and george's parents get skype. in another tweet, get this, jerry breaks up with a beautiful woman because she favorites every one of his tweets and cramer and newman start a podcast. >> so easy to assemble a monkey could do it. check this out. a monkey in a coat was spotted roaming around an ikea in toronto. a bunch of tweets went out, one asking, anyone lose their monkey? the answer, yes, the owner was apparently shopping inside the store and the monkey managed to get out of his crate and out of the car.
animal control captured darwin, the 7-month-old primate. since monkeys are banned as pets there, guess what, he loses his monkey. >> it would be malpractice with us not to share it. the late-night talk show hosts got caught up in this monkey business as well. take a look. >> this is true. a tiny monkey wearing a winter coat was found wandering around an ikea. do we have a photo of the monkey? look at that, that's real. a monkey wearing a coat. >> that's a sheerling coat. >> that monkey still has a better chance of assembling that entertainment center than you do. >> there's darwin standing in the door at the ikea.
evidently he escaped from a car in the parking lot and went into the store to find his owner. a police officer described him as a smart monkey, which if he's so smart, let's see him put together an ikea book shelf. >> obviously his owner takes really good care of him. he had a coat on, diaper. >> the monkey escaped. he can't take that good care if he got out. all the monkey news continues right here. "early start" continues right now. without without warning, a surprise tornado strikes in the middle of severe storms in the southeast. secret sabotage. who is behind the pipe bombs found attached to the gas tank of a large truck. marijuana is illegal in colorado, but it's still against the law if you ask the feds. such a complicated story. i'm zoraida sambolin. >> i'm john berman.
a few more storms are possible in the south today. this, after residents left cleaning up in the aftermath after yesterday's storms. rain so intense, take a look at what happened at the home of one man in birmingham, alabama, as he was being interviewed by a local tv reporter. >> we have a dog, she was in the cage. oh, my god, oh, my god. oh, my god! are you okay? you all okay? you all all right? >> the roof of clinton thornton's home collapsed due to the soaking rain. everyone there is okay. he believes a tornado touched down in his tornado. it certainly rained an awful lot. let's check in with alexandra steele. >> certainly a lot less of severe weather today. he talked about the rain in tuscaloosa today. 2 inches of rain, record rain. reports of tornadoes, 12
reports. 2 confirmed thus far. the line moved through predominantly through the morning hours. an ef-1 and another ef-1. one in birmingham, one in baker. in birmingham, the path a mile long. 250 miles wide. maximum winds, 90 miles per hour. baker, 105-mile-an-hour wind, 100 yards wide and 4 mile long path. a birmingham report, 5:00 in the morning, roofs off homes there. even a commercial building. the roof with those incredibly powerful winds, lifted off. baker, 7:00 in the morning. ef-1, winds even stronger. 105-mile-per-hour winds. there, a car wash, completely destroyed. widespread damage to trees and powerlines. in the southeast, we call it dixie alley and we have a cool weather tornado season, just not in the springtime and december tornadoes aren't that uncommon.
in jackson, mississippi, on average, we see seven. and in birmingham, where we have the one, we see two on average. in new orleans, we see four. a very quiet severe weather season. usually, we have about 70 reports of tornadoes from november to where we stand now. we've only had seven. certainly a lot quieter. the only threat today. south, central florida, isolated tornadoes possible. hail and gusty winds. that being said, most of the country behind the front. cool or windy conditions and guys, the next system poised to come in to the northwest, cooler, and rain in western washington and oregon. >> alexandra steele, thank you very much. coming up in 30 minutes, we'll talk to alabama photojournalist scott mcdowell and caitilin mccauley, they shot the video of the roof collapse due to the soaking rain. a medical chopper goes down
in north central illinois. three people on board, all crew members, were killed. the "chicago tribune" was told andy olson and jim difficult low and karen hollis were on board. no patients on board. oklahoma city police looking for whoever put two pipe bombs on a truck. the thriver found them attached to a fuel tank after he got back from a 400-mile trip. the truck was hauling rock. you can imagine what would have happened if this might have happened. the right to work battle in michigan is expected to hit a fevered pitch today. as many as 10,000 unionized workers are expected at the capitol to voice their disapproval of the republican-led push. president obama stepping into the fray. a visit during a daimler truck factory in redford, michigan. >> the so-called right to work laws, they don't have to do with economics, everything to do with politics.
what they are really doing, giving you root toit work for less money. >> alison kosik in lansing with the latest. the president says not about money, but politics. can you explain right to work? >> first of all, zoraida, right to work means if the right to work law passes, if you are looking for a job here in michigan, it means you wouldn't be forced to pay union fees, wouldn't be forced to join a union and this is a huge deal for michigan, because really unions are the fabric of the state. really where the united auto workers union was born. so if you see this law pass, it certainly could undermine the credibility, the clout, the power, the influence of a union in michigan, but also unions across the country as well, zoraida. >> and potentially bust the union, which is what people are worried about. tell us what's happening today. >> okay, mass demonstrations
expected to begin in a few hours. i'm watching labor union officials start to set up here at the state capitol. what they are hoping do is change the way that votes are expected to go today. the final votes expected to happen in the house and senate chambers here, if those votes pass, which they are expected to pass, it will go to governor rick snyder's desk, and he's expected to sign it. nonetheless, the thousands of demonstrator who's are expected to descend on the state capitol today are hoping that their voices will be heard, zoraida. >> we have heard that about 10,000 are expected. are you seeing security measures put in place now? >> definitely. police are certainly getting ready for that. barricades. i walked inside the capitol a short time ago. they are getting ready for the mass of people coming. it's important to michigan. two suburban school districts in and around detroit have shut
down, because teachers won't be available to be in class, because hundreds of teachers are taking personal days to come here to have their voices heard as well. so one little facet of this, showing how important it is to the state. >> alison kosik, live in michigan, thank you very much. six minutes after the hour. he's the warrior and hero who helped free an american doctor from the taliban. more about nicholas cheque. hard working, enthusiastic, joined the navy in 2002 after graduating from high school. checque received the bronze star during his ten-year career. a real true life hero. >> a life taken too soon. it appears syria has gotten the message it should not use chemical weapons against rebels trying to overthrow the assad
regime. >> we haven't seen anything new indicating any aggressive steps to move forward in that way. but we continue to monitor it very closely and we continue to make clear to them that they should not, under any means, make use of these chemical weapons against their own population. >> panetta made comments while en route to kuwait and reiterated if the assad regime gets desperate enough it may resort to chemical weapons. >> pot is legal in colorado. amendment 64 signed into the constitution after voter as proved it on election day. people 21 years and older can have up to one ounce of weed. they can smoke it, but can't do it in public. they are allowed to grow a small amount at home. this is really complicated. the federal government still says federal government is illegal. pay no attention to the
space ship in the car. the x-37b, robotic space plane will lift off from cape canaveral. the vehicle's third mission. unmanned reusable version of the space shuttle. lifts off vertically, lands on autopilot on a runway. what is it carrying? and the cost of developing is classified. >> all sorts of speculation online what this is carrying. bombs, weapons, we just don't know. it's a secret. eight minutes after the hour. three weeks until the fiscal cliff. you can't see it, but there are hints of progress on capitol hill. live to washington, coming up. also ahead, a judge rules in a politically charged battle over license plates in one state. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout.
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aspercreme. welcome back, everyone. we may be seeing tiny hints of progress in the fiscal cliff crisis. it's getting quiet on capitol hill. 21 days remain before the tax hikes and spending cuts kick in, and congress breaks for the holiday, at least they are scheduled to, on friday. this is what you need to know. the president on the road pitching his tax plan to workers at a truck plant in michigan. house speaker boehner were conducting behind the scenes talks with the white house. and the posturing and finger pointing in washington suddenly stopped. we have more from washington. the sounds of silence may be the sounds of progress? >> potentially. we hope so. we don't really know. we're forced to read the tea leaves essentially, john, because neither side is giving
details about the substance of discussions. let me read a statement from john boehner's press secretary. "discussions with the white house are taking place, but we have no detail to share about the substance of those conversations. the republican offer made last week remains the republican offer and we continue to wait for the president to identify the spending cuts he's willing to make as part of the balanced approach he promised the american people." now, obviously the president is standing firm on any deal has to include raising the rates for the wealthiest americans. take a listen at something he said yesterday at that event in michigan. >> when you put it all together, what you need is a package that keeps taxes where they are for middle class families, we make some tough spending cuts on things that we don't need. and then we ask the wealthiest americans to pay a slightly higher tax rate. >> and as you know, john, therein lies the impasse. the president wants the tax rates to be higher for wealthiest americans, and republicans say they want deep
cuts in entitlement spending. >> a lot to talk about argue about. 14 minutes past the hour. let's get you up to date with christine romans. most of the south has taken a big hit. two tornado touchdowns confirmed in the south. reports as many as a dozen tornadoes touched down. bad weather stretched from texas to florida. a settlement reached in a civil suit filed against former inf boss dominique strauss-khan. diallo was receiving unspecified damages. and a major legal battle over choose life license plates. a federal judge in north carolina issued that they can't issue choose life license plates without offering one with a
different viewpoint. the ruling suggests the state will have to offer a kill the sea turtles plate to counter the save the sea turtles version. a ruling on the nfl bounty can scal do co scan call do come today. the decision could affect whether two current saints linebackers, jonathan vilma and will smith, get to play out the season. vilma, a full-season suspicion, smith suspended four games. they have been allowed to play during their appeal. guys. >> big moment in football. 16 minutes after the hour. early read on local news. a story in pennsylvania's "tribune review." people who knew fallen s.e.a.l. nicholas checque are sharing their memories. a former neighbor says it was
nick's name to be a navy s.e.a.l. all through high school and his mother and sister were so proud. a former schoolmate and wrestling teammate can remember checque wanting to be a s.e.a.l. since seventh grade and endured epic workouts to become a s.e.a.l. >> he died a hero. but so sad. a record setting settlement reached between hsbc over allegations it handled money tied to drug gangs and terrorists. new york's largest lender agreed to pay $1.92 billion to settle the money laundering investigation in the united states. hsbc accused of helping transfer billions formations like iran doing businesses with firms linked to terrorism and enabling mechanical drug cartels to move money legally through u.s. subsidiaries. for a look at top stories, head to our blog, cnn.com/early ks
sta start. and look for us on facebook. >> we'll make it worth your while, we promise. >> i'm going on to see what you have. not on the road yet, but california, nevada, and florida legalized driverless cars. and coming to other places too perhaps like washington, d.c. where i hope they can navigate the traffic circles. christine romans, tells us what we can expect. sit back, relax, let the cars do the work. >> work on the blackberry. five years or less, that's the timeline for google for its drivele driverless cars. test cars wracked up thousands of computer driven miles. and we also have a road train concept. a chain of self-driving cars controlled by a lead vehicle it could help combat congestion.
the american society of civil jeers say it costs up to $700 per year in extra time and fuel per driver. 75% of cars on the road will be driving themselves by 2040. drivers must be ready behind the wheel just in case. tests beginning in the uk for the first unmanned airplane flights. called jet stream. won't be carrying any passengers for now. >> i would say that's a good idea. >> think about it driverless cars. if you can have the car talk to the computer and the gps, satellite and program the coordinates and all pretty standard and clear, you can control congestion and the like. a lot of companies, including the agriculture companies, working on tractors and such have wen working on this a long, long time. >> can they drive stick? >> i don't know. that's a really john berman question. >> seems spooky to me. >> and glitches, right? always seeing glitches in technology.
that's worry some. >> a lot of glitches in human driving. >> that's true. 19 minutes past the hour right now the big bucks in the board room aren't what they used to be. the latest pay trend in corporate america, coming up. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. monarch of marketing analysis. with the ability to improve roi through seo all by cob. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. i'm going b-i-g. [ male announcer ] good choice business pro. good choice. go national. go like a pro.
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>> wintry. >> minding your business. christine romans talking about the fascinating report on what the world will look like in 2030. a new report at the number of women at the executive level. >> the demographic correspondent this morning. a big report by the 17 intelligence agencies of the united states, boiled down, and presented to the president for every four years for incoming administrations. the landscape of the world, and the intelligence agencies see challenges, opportunities, what is happening, shift that are happening, and we are live at a time that's quite unique. china, the biggest economy in the world. and you will see a majority of the world's population out of poverty by the year 2030. you will see wars potentially over food and water and resources. and you will see probably recurring global economic crisis according to the global trend
2030 alternative world report. i will tweet a link and put it on facebook. asia, more dominant than any other time. no more pa x americana. the largest economy will be china. europe, russia, china, continue to decline. and india will grow like china today. in a tectonic shift, asia will have surpassed north america in europe in terms of global power, based upon gdp, population size, military spending and tech technological investment. china will surpass the u.s. economy even before that what does this mean? look when you see the short-termism in washington, where they are arguing about tax increases and entitlement reform and very short-term thinking overall, this is the big picture. the big picture is more change any time since the french revolution, the industrial
revolution in the 18th century and happening more quickly than we have ever seen. people more empowered. governments having less power and no single global leader. quickly about global leaders in business. a new report released a catalyst for us. and growth for pay and positions for women at the highest levels of corporate america, flat lining. flat lining of the fortune 500, 14% are women, 85% men. this is not moving. 8.1% of top earners in corporate america are women. 91% are men. board seats, women make up 16.6% of board seats compared to men. that's the 7th year of no growth at all for women and board seats. 3.3% of women of color, and 13.4% white women, and 83% men. you can really sponsor.
not just mentor, but sponsor women in the workplace to change these numbers. i'm telling you, i have been reporting this stuff -- i remember in 2000, saying the needle is barely moving on women on corporate boards. my entire career basically. and we've barely moved this needle. >> all we have to do is make it happen. >> it's a lot of different reasons, but folks trying to figure. sponsor is like a mentor on steroids basically. and every company should look at how they are sponsoring women in the ranks. 26 minutes past the hour. the cameras happened to be rolling when a storm ravaged a home. it fell apart on the spot. the team behind the camera joins us. we'll get their side of the story. ♪ [ male announcer ] campbell's green bean casserole. it's amazing what soup can do
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this funnel cloud caught on camera in florida, more storms expected today. a news crew captures the destruction as a rain-soaked ceiling gives way during the middle of the interview. we talk with the team behind the camera. the search for a mona lisa. did a real-life indiana jones find her tomb? that sounds pretty cool. >> it does. >> i'm john berman. >> and i'm zoraida sambolin. it's 30 minutes past the hour. a possible tornado and rain collapsing the roof of a home. all caught on tape. >> the dog, she was in the cage. >> ah! >> oh, my god, oh, my god, oh, my god! you all okay? you all okay? you all all right? >> homeowner clinton thornton being interviewed by cnn affiliate when the ceiling of his home caved in.
thankfully, we should tell you. no one -- no one -- was injured. joining me is the news team that captured this really extraordinary moment. photojournalists scott mcdowell and reporter caitilin mccauley. we see the video. in the middle of interviewing mr. thornton and all of a sudden the ceiling starts to cave in. what is going through your mind as this is happening, guys? >> john, good morning. good morning from wiat in birmingham. it was really amazing to see. something like this, doesn't happen that often. you don't see that type of thing happen in an interview. a lot of praying to god immediately after that, but it's the roof's ripped off in that situation. the rain comes in, fills up the dry wall turns it almost into concrete and we could hear when we were walking on the streets, the you could hear the pop and the drop. we weren't sure what it was
until we got in the interview. and lo and behold, the middle of the interview it happens. >> we were standing in the front of the house talking to neighbors and i looked to my right and all of a sudden i see the pieces start to cave in. the weight of all of that rain, just the roof gave in. >> it was so interesting. we were saying you can actually start hearing it first. we have been saying all morning no one was hurt. there were people at one point inside the house. how did the people all manage to stay safe? >> you did have. a lot of people in very houses and very surprised. and it's something. our news director really drives home the fact that we have our weather radios on and up and it goes true for a lot of people in this area. but this was a big surprise. started off as thunderstorms and surprised all of us across the board that this turned into an ef-1 tornado and people woke up and found their roofs were collapsing in on top of them. >> and it really was amazing,
think about the tornadoes that came through in april 2011, i mean, these are people who are used to being prepared or used to keeping their weather radios on and things like that, and it just took everyone by surprise. >> you know, you kept interviewing mr. thornton after the roof did collapse, and i want to listen to what he said right now. it's really interesting. >> your roof just collapsed. >> it just collapsed. and it's still coming down. it's horrible. but these things can be replaced. >> what does this do to your christmas? >> it gives us a praise like never before. >> what a fantastic response. you must cover a lot of severe weather. were you surprised by what he said? >> i was blown away. and the minute we talked about it after the fact, we took off
down the street and walked and talked to other people, including him. but to see that response. it was the response of the community. the entire community is -- and thankfully no one was hurt. but rally around, not the material things. >> it really was amazing to see. as these buildings are literally crumbling around people, they were so grateful to have each other, be alive, have their families. >> caitilin, what kind of condition is the neighborhood in this morning as we are waking up? >> right now, we are planning on heading up right after we get finished with this interview. power is slowly coming back on. it will be the rebuilding process. people are really used to. and it's going to be slow, but there are pulling it together. >> and a terrible thing to get used to. those april 27th storms sent the message and it has everybody on high alert. when it's a terrible thing, especially right around the
holidays. >> and we'll let you go out and do your job. you do your job very, very well. rolling on that as it was happening. thank you for being with us. two tornadoes touched down across the south. the entire region from texas to florida. was struck by really rough weather yesterday. soaking rains, powerful winds. let's see what's in the region today. alexandra steele in the weather center. what can folks expect? >> where they are, the skies have cleared out. things are cool, quite breezy. only real threat, south and central florida. the severe line moved through. a dozen reported tornadoes. birmingham, record rain in some areas, two inches for some. a lot of tornado activity. and tornadoes that were not that uncommon in birmingham on average, we see two tornadoes in the month of december. jackson, 7 tornadoes, so we see them. december is a cool weather month
for tornadoes. it's what we call dixie alley, a second season. in the northeast, clouds and showers moving through. boston, 61 degrees yesterday. not bad today. rain and clouds this morning. cooling off. temperatures much cooler behind it by 30 degrees. this is the tail end of the front that brought the strong storms now. south, central florida, you can see lightning and also the threat today for isolated tornadoes, hail, and even damaging winds. so a big picture, there is the front, clear and cool in the midwest, the northeast, mid-atlantic, still rain this morning in washington, philadelphia, boston, but it will all move out. again, the only real severe threat is in florida, but then, the next storm system coming through, a foot of snow in the cascades, rain an inch or two in western watshington or oregon. the dallas cowboys will hold a private memorial for jerry
brown today and the team is inviting josh brent to that service. brent is charged with intoxication manslaughter in his teamma teammate's death. the team wants to embrace brent. brown's mother spoke to piers morgan. >> because i know josh brent and he's been part of our family since jerry went to the university of illinois, that's all i can do is pray for him and his family. i know he's hurting just as well as we are, him and jerry were like brothers. >> wow, brent is out on 500,000 bond. >> more news this morning with the stroke of a pen, you might say, they started puffing. pot officially legal in colorado. the governor signing amendment 64 into the state's constitution after voters approved it on election day. people 21 years and older can
have one ounce of marijuana. they aren't allowed to have it in public. and lord stanley is weeping. all games canceled through december 31st. >> fans disappearing if there are any left. >> i wasn't surprised when i saw the news. you weren't either. >> bad. a league managing ifrs potself . a terrific week for tom brady. i can't get the smile off my face. tom brady welcomes a new baby and shows the texans who is boss on monday night. here is a hint. tom brady. we'll have more, coming up. i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life. information on my phone. connection to doctors who get where i'm from. and tools to estimate what my care may cost.
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all right, everyone. soledad o'brien here with what's had on "starting point," in addition to tom brady. >> the fiscal cliff. those discussions behind closed doors. a sign of progress or a sign that talks should be more transparent? we'll talk about that and the affect of going off the cliff could have on small businesses with the chicago mayor, rahm emanuel. javier palomarez, president of the hispanic chamber of commerce. and michigan becoming the newest right to work state, despite major protests expected today. could the legislation throw the state into turmoil? we'll have response from sandy levin. you heard about the fun and dysfunction. actor ed burns will talk to us with his movie "the fitzgerald
family christmas." all that on "starting point." >> thanks soledad. 43 minutes past the hour. both sides got the memo. everyone quiet as a mouse on capitol hill. when it comes to the looming fiscal cliff crisis, that's a good sign. in 21 days, we go off the cliff and that means drastic tax hikes and spending cuts. congress scheduled to break for the holidays on friday. two sides talking behind the scenes and for a change, all of the posturing and finger pointing has died down, at least for now. shannon travis joins us live. what are you hearing, if anything? >> we're hearing that as you just mentioned, that they are talking, but that's all we're hearing, that's a good sign, that they are talking at this point. i'll read a statement from john boehner's president secretary. "discussions with the white house are taking place, but we have no detail to share about the substance of those conversations. the republican offer made last week remains the republican offer, and we continue to wait for the president to identify
the spending cuts he's willing to make as part of the balanced approach he promised the american people." again, from house speaker john boehner's office. the president on the other hand took to michigan yesterday, and laid down once again his goal for any kind of deal. take a listen. >> when you put it all together, what you need is a package that keeps taxes where they are for middle class families, we make some tough spending cuts on things that we don't need, and then we ask the wealthiest americans to pay a slightly higher tax rate. >> and as you know, zoraida, therein lies the impasse. the president wants the taxes on wealthiest americans to rise, and republicans want deep cuts on entitlements. >> the clock is ticking. do we have enough time to actually have a resolution here? >> a real question and a real concern for a lot of people if there is a deal to be had, it really needs to be had by friday, because the legislative process has to work its way out
and that could take potentially two weeks. that could put us close to the cliff, if not over the cliff. >> not as simple as obama and boehner saying we agree. >> right. >> thank you. we appreciate it. thank you. >> that would sure be welcome. >> yes it would be nice. 45 minutes past the hour. and up to date on all of the morning's top stories. florida will see rough weather again today. most of the south, from texas to sunshine state, hit with soaking rains and heavy rains again today. confirmed two tornadoes touched down in alabama, one in louisiana, one tearing a four-mile long path. the air force's top secret robotic plane will lift off from cape canaveral's, the vehicle's third mission. it's an unmanned version of the space shuttle. lifts off vertically and lands autopilot on a runway. big question? what is it carrying?
berman. >> the internet speculating like crazy right now. powerful world leaders no match for a stomach bug. secretary of state hillary clinton has a bad one. has to bail out of a friends of syria meeting tomorrow in morocco so she can get better. deputy secretary william burns will be there in her place. one of the topics, how to deal with radical islamists who are among syrian rebels. and the best team in the nfc went into brady house and got steam rolled. the texans, best record in the league. patriots have won 20 straight home games in the month of december. berman is just staring googly eyed. brady's first game since he and giselle welcomed their second child together. >> a daughter, vivian elaine. congratulations to the brady family.
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and difficult if you will, less tolerant. whether it was immigration or education, or voter suppression that we saw recently. each and every one of these issues really was counter to my values, that my mother and father raised me on. >> crist's switch wasn't a great surprise. he endorsed president obama and spoke at the democratic convention as well. the most famous portrait ever, ever, in history. and now a crew is digging for the most famous remains in history. >> and ben wedeman is on the trail with them. >> reporter: the story has perplexed people for centuries. the mona lisa by da vinci. in the frigid bowels of what was once a convent in florence, there is a project to find and
identify the remains of a woman that posed for da vinci more than 500 years ago. historical documents seem to indicate this is the place where lisa giardini, otherwise known as mona lisa was buried. beyond that, it's all a mystery. the remains of five females have been found here. the skull may have been of lisa the second wife of a wealthy florence silk merchant. remains will be compared with the dna of two relatives buried elsewhere. no other likeness of her has ever been found, and given da vinci spent years working on the painting, it's possible the real lisa giardini bears no resemblance to the mona lisa. >> translator: once we identify the remains, vincete tells me, we can reconstruct the face with a margin of error of 2% to 8%.
we'll finally be answer the question the art historians can't. who was the model for mona lisa the smile on the other hand will probably remain a misery. vincenti claims that analysis says the smile came later. when leonardo began drawing the mod nell front of him, he didn't draw the elusive smile, but a person who was dark and depressed. the smile may belong to da vinci's long time assistant and some speculate lover. the painting others claim was a
self-portrait. we may never know if it was a lover or to con found humanity. today's best advice from one of "american idol's" most memorable performers. and ed burns joins soledad to talk about "the fitzgerald family christmas." zoraida says it's hiss tar call. >> did i? fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase.
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we wrap it up with best advice. >> the best advice from singer/songwriter/american idol contestant adam lambert. >> the best advice i got, keep your eye on the prize. don't let anything distract you. you have a goal, take a risk and go after it. and don't let anything slow you down. don't let anything compromise that journey. head straight toward the goal. >> always bring your eye liner. >> yes. clearly. >> a lot of advice in that clip. >> and a lot of eye liner. >> he wears it well. >> that is all for "early start." i'm john berman. >> i'm zoraida sambolin. "starting point" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com